July 9, 2015 / 12:01 PM / 4 years ago

Book Talk-David Mitchell's 'uber novel' keeps growing after 'Bone Clocks'

BOSTON, July 9 (Reuters) - Writer David Mitchell is a busy man.

His new novel, “Slade House,” is due in October and he has sold rights for a small-screen serial of his 2014 book “The Bone Clocks.”

The English author of “Cloud Atlas” also has one year to write a novel for “Future Library,” a project that aims to collect one original story by a writer every year until 2114.

Mitchell, 46, spoke to Reuters about how “Slade House” began on Twitter, expanding his so-called “uber novel” or several interlinked works spanning his fiction writing, and plans for “The Bone Clocks,” now out in paperback.

Q: Why has this year been so productive?

A: “Slade House,” I haven’t had to do from scratch. I tried Twitter fiction (writing chapters of 140 characters or less) last year, and part of what has turned into “Slade House” was translated into tweets. I’ve kind of re-translated it back into page prose.

Q: Would you do Twitter fiction again?

A: If I had an idea best served by that format. The (“Slade House”) protagonist, a 13-year old boy who we’d probably describe as at the Asperger’s end of the spectrum, has got into using his mum’s Valium. He’s essentially thinking in tweets.

Q: Will your fictional universe keep expanding?

A: Yes. In the last books, I’ve been starting to plan forwards a little bit. I’ve got a rough idea for my next three, four, five books. It’s like a highly defective crystal ball. I can see the foggy outlines of the uber book. It’s not a series.

Q: What pressure do you feel from earlier successes?

A: I did a piece of media. The journalist wrote “David Mitchell, author of ‘The Bone Clocks’...” I could have punched the air! Great! Until then, it’s always been “the author of ‘Cloud Atlas.’”

Q: How will the Future Library book fit into your work?

A: I might put into (it) something important to the uber book, a key.

Q: Will there be more movies?

A: Small-screen form is where things are at the moment. For “The Bone Clocks,” that’s the format that would be better suited, a series of one-hour episodes. I signed the deal recently.

Q: Where are you on your creative arc?

A: I’ve got four or five ideas for fairly hefty books. It takes me to my early 60s. There’s a couple of novels set in future, a couple in the past. One or two in the present. (Editing by Patricia Reaney and Tom Brown)

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